Whether you subscribe to the idea that we are currently in the second wave of this coronavirus pandemic, or simply seeing a reverberation within the first wave, there are a few things that we can all agree are a little nerve-racking.
First, there is the abysmal state of our economy at this moment. A huge swath of American businesses are either shuttered or severely throttled on account of this global medical crisis, including, most notably, businesses in the restaurant and bar industry. This is an enormous generator of income for Americans, and also provides a huge contingent of the liquidity of cash needed to keep our nation humming along. As the coronavirus pandemic remains at the forefront of our national safety, these businesses have been diminished or dismissed entirely, and the ramifications of these circumstances are likely to develop into ever-more complex issues in the coming weeks and months.
That is, unless we get the economy open, which is something that even the Federal Reserve believes is not the right idea at this moment.
Neel Kashkari, president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, said the nation needs to control the spread of the virus, which is increasing across much of the country, to get back on a path to economic health.
“That’s the only way we’re really going to have a real robust economic recovery. Otherwise, we’re going to have flare-ups, lockdowns and a very halting recovery with many more job losses and many more bankruptcies for an extended period of time unfortunately,” Kashkari said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Of course, this flies in the face of what some in Washington, including the Commander in Chief, are looking to do.
To do so, he suggested strict shutdowns, which is contrary to what President Trump and many of his allies have been pushing in recent months as measures to aid the economy.
“I mean if we were to lock down really hard, I know I hate to even suggest it, people will be frustrated by it, but if we were to lock down hard for a month or six weeks, we could get the case count down so that our testing and our contact tracing was actually enough to control it the way that it’s happening in the Northeast right now,” Kashkari said. “They had a rocky start, but they’re doing a pretty good job right now.”
This advice comes at a time in which Americans around the nation are struggling with the decision of whether or not to send children and staff back into our public school system, where constant close contact with each other could provide an ample breeding ground for COVID-19.
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